IT Employment

What to do after you've been fired

Author and inspirational speaker John P. Strelecky offers some advice on what to do if you've been fired.

John P. Strelecky knows what it's like to be laid off. It happened to him during the last economic crisis. That experience launched him on a whole new path in which he has inspired millions of people to live life on their terms. He has been honored alongside Oprah Winfrey, Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra as one of the one hundred most inspirational thought leaders in the field of leadership and personal development.

John is the author of the #1 inspirational best-seller The Why Café and he is kind enough to offer this guest post on what to do after you've been fired:

You might have seen it coming or it might have been a big surprise, but the truth remains - losing your job wasn't your choice. What happens next, is. You can either wallow in misery and collect unemployment for the next 99 weeks, or make being fired the best thing that ever happened to you.

Why it's not so bad

A recent study found that only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their current job. That was the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board research group in more than 22 years of studying the issue. Unfortunately, this also explains why so many people are collecting unemployment. It's not that the jobs aren't out there; it's that some people would rather get paid for doing nothing, than do something they hate for 40 hours each week.

What now

If you find yourself in the nine percent of Americans who are unemployed, don't despair. You can still get back in the game and actually make being fired the best thing that ever happened to you. Here's what to do now:

  • Do something you love. Most people don't realize that instead of spending time and money to be immersed in the things they love, they can get paid to be immersed in those items. And that is the case whether you want to work in sales, customer service, accounting, marketing or any other position.
  • Just as they give samples at the grocery store hoping you'll like it and come back for more, job seekers must do the same thing. Find ways to give samples of the value you can bring to the place or industry in which you want to work. Volunteer for a half day, or one day per week in the industry you want to work. Write articles on the topic, or blog about it. Give, give, give. And if you give enough value, someone will give back to you in the form of a job offer.
  • It's amazing how many people think filling out an application or sending in a resume and cover letter constitutes applying for a job. That's not enough anymore! Make the focus on how you can improve the company's bottom line. If you are applying for a $60,000 per year job, you have to be bringing at least $60,001 in great ideas and results to the table, or there's no reason for anyone to hire you. Obviously, it should be a whole bunch more than just that one dollar. That value needs to be reflected in what you submit to a company when you apply for a job.
  • If you weren't satisfied with the type of work you were doing previously, taking a job inythe same field isn't going to fulfill you now- or in the future!. Use this down time to expose yourself to different situations that will help you figure out your purpose for existing. Volunteer, backpack around the world, read books on topics that interest you. Do whatever you can do to experience new things, so that when you choose your next job, you are fired up to be there every day.

Only you can make it happen

Our education system is broke, the economy is stagnant, and unemployment is still high. You may have taken classes you didn't care for and entered a field that didn't fulfill you. It's a shame that's the way things are, but that's the reality. And right now you have a choice.

If you are in the nine percent of people who are not working, it's time to figure out what you want to do, find a way to do it, and bring tons of value to the table. Nobody is coming to the rescue, so you must build your own ship and take control of your life.

Laying you off was their choice. What you do after that is yours. If you do it right, becoming unemployed can be the best thing that ever happened to you. They chose, now you choose.

10 comments
RayJeff
RayJeff

The first and only time I was fired, I didn't find anything positive about it. I couldn't find anything remotely positive after it. It happened at the worse time it could. I was working at the university I am pursuing undergrad degree several years ago. I was fired on the most ironic and most unlikely days: I was fired the day before my last final exam...in Calculus. Well, I failed my final and therefore failed the class. Math isnt't my strong suit and I was barely passing. If I wasn't fired the day before the exam, I might've barely passed the class. Luckily enough, a job I ahd applied for about a year before, I FINALLY got a call about an interview and 3 months later, I was hired. While in the end I was able to get another job, the bad part was that it affected my education. But..I was able to turn that around as being fired maybe me focused more on my problems with math and eventually through a colleague at the next job, she helped me with my math problem.

dwdino
dwdino

Firing does not do well with flesh.

Odysseus2012
Odysseus2012

This is a first: TechRepublic presented an article that is crap. What a load of waffle; I can hear the same talk on the Sci-Fy channel at 3 in the morning. Zero substance.

CarrieAtTunaRez
CarrieAtTunaRez

I help folks who are suddenly unemployed everyday. It probably seems very overwhelming right now but that will pass. 1st, get your financial ducks in a row and apply for unemployment. 2nd, take a deep breathe and decide what you want in your next job. You may want to do more of what you've been doing or you might want to change it up a bit. This is the time to reprioritize and aim for a great job that's also a great fit for you. So ... think about what YOU want, not what employers want. It will make for a much more successful job search. 3rd, depending on how long it's been since you've looked for job you may be in for an education. Employers expect much more from resumes than ever before. The laundry list of short, choppy bullets of 10 years ago just doesn't cut it. Get evaluations of your resume. TunaRez.com is one great free source but there are lots of freebies out there. Use the new advice to make sure your resume brings out more than just your tech skills -- all your competition will have that. Your resume needs to showcase your attitude and aptitude -- that's where you'll gain an edge. 4th, marketing will be more critical than ever before. 80% of jobs are not advertised -- I know it's shocking -- so don't get discouraged that you don't see much on job boards. Make sure you're posted on 20+ job boards. Lots of employers search behind the scenes so if you're not there, they can't find you. 5th, more about the hidden market: research, research, research -- look for every avenue to get your resume into the hands of employers that aren't advertising. It may sound like platitude but this could end up being the best career move for you. Deal with the angst and don't freak out. Make a plan and take action. Don't be passive. Don't wait to take control -- even if taking control means a lot of deep breathing.

roleat
roleat

I enjoyed the article, it has a positive outlook! Too often we are trapped in a job role that doesn't stimulate our minds and unfortunately though there are bills to pay, any responsible adult has a savings that can accommodate for the "unknowns" such as a lay-off, or a disruption in freelancing world. Granted, I'm young myself and maybe be living in this idealized needing-to-be-fulfilled mindset, but I'm surprised that very idea can be scoffed at. Life is short, and a typical business 9-5 is not the centre point of existence. If all you seek in life is a paycheque then good luck, you'll need it!

Dknopp
Dknopp

Are you serious, who is this article for a college student? I, along with everyone else, have bills to pay, people who count on me, investments to protect ( my house ). If I were to be laid off, I am going to do whatever it takes to get money flowing again, not whine about "not being fulfilled" and back pack around the world, or sit around and read books and dream pie in the sky dreams.

Dknopp
Dknopp

...in a firing kiln.

Dknopp
Dknopp

Not a paycheck, but a means to fulfill what my kids and my grandkids count on. A stable influence in their lives who will be there when they need me. The article has a positive outlook because it is blowing smoke up everyones skirt. To be honest the carrer field that I am in has never been the one that I wanted, Back in the day I was more of a liberal arts person, still draw and paint, but it did not pay well so I dropped it for a job, sucked it in and did what a person is supposed to do, make a living. I just think the article trivializes what many people are going through when their stream of cash is stopped

drdrf
drdrf

When I was fancy-free, i could have done that, and I'm guessing there are a lot of people who have been laid off / fired who are in exactly that situation, so the suggestion is not absurd, just not applicable to everyone. I know that finding a new job for an older worker is tough (almost impossible for senior people in some areas), so I like the idea of taking some time to get your bearings and try something new. (For one thing, your certifications may be out of date or not quite right for the market right now.) I'm a little concerned about giving away "samples": if you're in a service industry, samples are ephemeral, but if you're producing software, it's hard to give away only a little without giving away the candy store (at least with software tools). Unfortunately, there are a *lot* of people giving away things, so you end up having to follow that model yourself. Now where did I leave my backpack ... oh, that's right, the kids borrowed it...

jstrelecky
jstrelecky

If that works for you, that's great. Personally the idea that life consists of "sucking it up" and not doing what you want because that's what people are "supposed to do"... That seems like blowing smoke up my special places. There are too many examples out there in all types of careers and all industries for me to buy into that version of reality. I didn't trivialize what people are going through. I gave them options for turning it into something positive. Your path is your path. I respect that. However, to suggest to others that it's impossible, or only for young people, to be paid to do things that fulfill them... That's cold. And incorrect. Check out these guys as an example. http://www.energymad.com/nz/ If that doesn't work for you, try the entire Google company as an example. John www.whycafe.com

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